Ministerial Statement on Deployment of Defence Forces by the President - Senate, 26th March 2019

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

DEPLOYMENT OF DEFENCE FORCES BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE PRESIDENT

            THE MINSTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. I rise to give a statement by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of Section 214 (a) paragraph (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on the deployment of the Defence Forces on the 1st of August 2018 and 14 to 16th January 2019. 

Mr. President, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe having deployed the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in Zimbabwe for the period 1st August 2018 and 14-16th January, 2019, under the authority granted in terms of Section 213 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013 and being required by section 214 (a) (i) of the Constitution to inform Parliament promptly and in appropriate detail, the reasons of the deployment,  he hereby informs Parliament as follows:

            The Commissioner General of Police having satisfied himself of the riotous situation existing in all major cities and towns in Zimbabwe; and having satisfied himself that the rioters had violated the right to life, right to human dignity, right to personal security, right not to be compelled to belong to an association or to attend a meeting or gathering, right to freedom of movement, right to hold, occupy, use and dispose of property, right to education and rights of children of ordinary citizens and residents, as enshrined by the Constitution. 

            And having satisfied that the conduct of the rioters was criminal in nature and recognised offences under the criminal justice system of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

            And having being satisfied that the Zimbabwe Republic Police was unable to contain the riotous situation as aforementioned which resulted in the loss of life, brazen violations of basic human rights, personal security and destruction of private and public property, including Police stations.  The Commissioner General in terms of section 37(1) of the Public Order and Security Act [Chapter 11:17] requested the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to use his discretion and request that Minister responsible for Defence to authorise the Defence Forces to assist the police in the exercise of their functions in terms of the Act in order to suppress the violent, riotous and destructive conduct that was occurring throughout the country which conduct undermined the rule of law and citizen’s rights as aforestated.

            The Minister of Defence following upon the request and guided by Section 213 (1); (2) (b) of the Constitution, that provides that only the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces has the power to authorize the deployment of the Defence Forces in Zimbabwe to support the police service in the maintenance of public order.

            His Excellency having dully considered the request and having applied his mind to the situation, authorized the deployment of the Defence Forces to suppress the riotous and destructive conduct that pervaded the country.

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